Another Small Condo Nightmare When Owners Can’t Afford Needed Repairs

M.L. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I am in a condo association of two. We split expenses 60 (upstairs owners) 40 (me). We agreed to have a major roof repair two years ago. I lined up a HELOC to cover my share. Upstairs owners have been stalling and now tell me they don’t have the money. They want to defer until Spring (second deferral) and I don’t have confidence that they will have the money then. What are my options?

Mister Condo replies:

M.L., your options are quite limited. You have provided a prime example of what happens in a two-unit association when one owner truly can’t afford to live there. You can contact an attorney. You may be able to sue the other owner but, in my opinion, you are very likely throwing away good morning trying to get water from a stone. Your best bet is to continue to encourage this owner to live up to their commitment. Short of that, I’d consider selling to get away from this problem. Unless the other owner finds the money, you’re not likely to get that roof. That may not be a problem today but it will most certainly be a problem in the future when the roof fails. You don’t need to stick around to experience the roof failure first-hand. Good luck!

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